Legalize, Tax and Regulate Marijuana?

  Tags: politics   health   law   cannabis   hemp   marijuana   pot   prohibition   war on drugs   weed

Should all marijuana be legalized, taxed, and regulated?

This debate is on the legalization of all marijuana use in the United States. There is a separate debate for the medical usefulness of marijuana (see: Does marijuana have medical benefits? 100.0% yes), medical legalization (see: Legalize medical marijuana? 100.0% yes) and the drug war in general (see: War on Drugs 50/50).

Arguments For

Yes, marijuana should be legalized.

Non-addictive Substance

Marijuana is not addictive (see: Is marijuana addictive? 100.0% yes).

Beneficial Effects

Thousands of people smoke pot and are productive, regular people that you work with, are neighbors or friends and many have families [citation needed] . It also has many good qualities which helps patients with various different ailments (see: Does marijuana have medical benefits? 100.0% yes). Medical marijuana has been used for over 5,000 years.[2]

Safer Than Legal Alternatives

Smoking pot is a good alternative to drinking or other hardcore drugs. Alcohol is thought to be more dangerous than marijuana (see: Is alcohol more dangerous than marijuana? 66.7% yes). No one has ever died from marijuana use.[6]

Some believe that due to the nature of the drug, being under the influence of marijuana should not be considered the same as alcohol under current DUI laws (see: Should DUI laws apply to marijuana? 50/50).

Legalization Reduces Crime and Drug Abuse

California's attorney general found that in the 10 years after that state legalized medical marijuana, pot smoking among teens there declined faster than the national rate.[1]

Legalizing marijuana would be a step towards reducing underground drug money. Drug money is "...more likely to go to national leaders of the insurgency, like Mullah Omar, who provide guidance and training for local groups."[4]

Unconstitutional Prohibition

Other countries have adopted lenience on marijuana with success. The supreme court in Argentina has ruled that it is unconstitutional to punish people for using marijuana for personal consumption.[3]

Arguments Against

No, marijuana should not be legalized.


Marijuana is proven to be a psychologically addictive drug[7] (see: Is marijuana addictive? 100.0% yes). Although tobacco and alcohol are addictive, this point still adds to the factors described below against marijuana.

Harmful Effects

Marijuana contains most of the harmful substances found in tobacco smoke.[5] Smoking one marijuana cigarette deposits about four times more tar into the lungs than a filtered tobacco cigarette.[5] There have been over 7,000 published scientific and medical studies documenting the damage that marijuana poses. Not one study has shown marijuana to be safe.[5]

Linked to Harder Narcotics

The risk of using cocaine is estimated to be more than 104 times greater for those who have tried marijuana than for those who have never tried it.[5] Marijuana is a powerful gateway drug, a stepping-stone towards harder drugs (see: Is marijuana a gateway drug? 66.7% yes).

Crime and Accidents

People who get "high" on marijuana may feel less inclined to follow the law, can cause traffic accidents or injury, and otherwise may not be in a safe state of mind. Although drinking alcohol can get you drunk, the psychological effect is different from being "high". The state of being "high" is more closely linked to heroin and cocaine than to alcohol. Drug-free neighborhoods tend to be safer communities, where people have stable jobs and stronger families. Drug infested communities tend to be linked to poverty, prostitution, vandalism, and other forms of crime (see: War on Drugs 50/50).

No Medical Benefits

Marijuana has no medical benefit (see: Does marijuana have medical benefits? 100.0% yes).


 1  Dude, chill. No need for panic over medical marijuana Aug 30, 2009 Unknown Author (durangoherald.com)
 2  The Case For Medical Marijuana Aug 17, 2009 Mirken, Bruce (www.forbes.com)
 3  Argentina rules on marijuana use Aug 26, 2009 Unknown Author (news.bbc.co.uk)
 4  How Crime Pays for the Taliban Sept 7, 2009 Baker, Aryn (www.time.com)
 5  Marijuana Unknown Date, Unknown Author (greater dallas council on on alcohol & drug abuse)
 6  Annual Causes of Death in the United States Unknown Date, Unknown Author (drugwarfacts.org)
 7  Controversy: Is Marijuana Addictive? Unknown Author, April 20, 2009 (www.TransWorldNews.com)
 8  www.dfwnorml.org.
 9  More Americans over age 50 are smoking marijuana than ever before. Sept 10, 2009 Engber, Daniel (Slate.com)
 10  How marijuana became legal Sept 11, 2009 Parloff, Roger (Money.CNN.com)
 11  San Diego Medical Marijuana Dispensaries Shut Down Sept 11, 2009 Groos, Caleb (FindLaw.com)

To be added:

Medical Marijuana Works
Attack on Medical Marijuana moving north

In the News

Marijuana found in another national park Aug 29, 2009 Conery, Ben (www.washingtontimes.com)

Related Debates

Should DUI laws apply to marijuana?
War on Drugs
Is alcohol more dangerous than marijuana?
Legalize medical marijuana?
Is marijuana a gateway drug?
Is marijuana addictive?
Does marijuana have medical benefits?

User Comments & Opinion


5 Voted Yes

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Makes sense in a poor economy! Propaganda needs to end, the intelligent debate needs to begin. - thorie (twitter) 0
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LEGALIZE IT - stonecoldvt (twitter) 0

4 Voted No

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this is a drug - its not safe for kids - mikeROD2020 (twitter) vote up image vote down image 0
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No, we shouldn't legalize it in general but yes - for medical purposes. In fact, it already is legal in Marinol (a marijuana-based drug). It only causes problems in low-class society. - jennyhooah (twitter) vote up image vote down image 0
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